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The University of Southampton

Bright Andoh,  MSc Applied Geographical Information Systems and Remote Sensing (AGISRS), Ghana

Commonwealth Shared Scholarship

Bright Andoh, 's Photo

I greatly value the extensive network of like-minded individuals that I can leverage in the future for professional growth and opportunities. Additionally, participating in class presentations and assuming leadership roles in smaller group discussions has significantly bolstered my confidence and eliminated stage fright, a concern I previously struggled with.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Southampton?

The University of Southampton stands out internationally for its high academic excellence especially in my field of study which is geospatial and remote sensing studies. The curriculum prepares students with industry-relevant skills and provides extensive resources for practical learning and research, making it an ideal choice for pursuing higher education in this field.

What do you enjoy the most about living in Southampton?

Upon reflection in the museum, the sensory tunes and artefacts presents a reminiscing déjà vu on the history of the Titanic movie.  Also, I love the city, available open greenspaces and watching football at St. James’ Park with the ‘Marching Saint Anthem’ cheer and chants. euphoria. The easy accessibility to amenities and infrastructure and the serene beach makes leaving here very relaxing and interesting.

What are you most proud of from your time at the University of Southampton so far?

My adeptness at embracing and adapting to diverse cultural backgrounds has significantly enriched my professionalism. This experience has broadened my perspective, fostering improvements in my teamwork, interpersonal relationships, and leadership skills. I firmly believe that these honed abilities will serve as the cornerstone for my forthcoming field projects and pave the way for my continued professional advancement.

Furthermore, the student union gave me a space to organise the debut Commonwealth Regional Meet and Greet in Southampton. This event facilitated socialization and networking among regional scholarship recipients, amplifying our collective impact. Additionally, participation in the International Scholars program held at the University of Southampton exposed me to a global network of scholars, enhancing my awareness of future funding opportunities within the academic sphere.

Lastly, engagement in extracurricular activities organized by the student union has been instrumental in managing stress levels and fostering a balanced academic experience.

What has been the hardest aspect of studying in another country? How has the University helped you overcome the challenges?

At the University of Southampton, I encountered several challenges including cultural adaptation, adjusting to a different climate, navigating a new educational system, and mastering the use of advanced geospatial tools in practical scenarios. However, I proactively sought guidance by seeking advice and asking pertinent questions from academic tutors, the student union, and the student hub. This proactive approach facilitated my adaptation process and enhanced my understanding on diverse cultural perspectives, enabling me to assimilate into the educational system more effectively.

Moreover, it contributed to the refinement of my work ethic and time management skills. As a result, I have elevated my personal development trajectory, refined my research and writing abilities, and expanded my expertise in utilizing geospatial technologies for enhanced real-world analysis.

What will you do with your degree after you have finished your studies?

I aim to embark on a doctoral journey in Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing, with the ultimate goal of achieving a career as a lecturer in Ghana. This endeavour will afford me the ideal platform to mentor and inspire young minds, enlightening them about the vast potential of geospatial and earth observation technologies in addressing intricate real-world challenges.

Furthermore, my long-term vision encompasses establishing a research laboratory aimed at offering hands-on training to students. Additionally, I aspire to actively seek funding opportunities to create avenues for talented yet financially disadvantaged students, thereby fostering a nurturing environment conducive to academic and professional growth.

This holistic approach aligns with my passion for education, research, and social impact, enabling me to contribute meaningfully to the advancement of knowledge and the empowerment of future generations in Ghana.

How has the funding enhanced your experience as a student at the University of Southampton?

The Commonwealth Shared Scholarship has provided me with financial grith. Research indicates a correlation between financial strain and mental health issues, making this support invaluable in allowing me to focus on my education without undue stress. Moreover, the scholarship's academic requirements, such as maintaining a high GPA, serve as motivational benchmarks, propelling me forward in my graduate studies.

My participation in workshops and events organized by Commonwealth Scholarship has significantly expanded my professional network, connecting me with scholars both within my field and across diverse research domains.

What advice do you have for future applicants who may wish to apply for this scholarship or bursary?

My counsel to prospective applicants for the Commonwealth Scholarships is to adopt an impact-oriented mindset, laying the groundwork for securing the award. Devoting time to meticulously drafting, writing, rewriting, and reviewing their essays is invaluable, given the multitude of opportunities that accompany this prestigious scholarship. Embracing this approach not only enhances the quality of their applications but also increases their chances of success in securing the scholarship.

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